The other night, as my girlfriend was heading out to volunteer at a telethon, I wished her good luck. She was going to be answering phone calls for one of the 307 fundraisers the local PBS station runs every year. They really need our help, and they can't stop asking for it. Ken Burns is even doing a documentary series on it, entitled "Counter-Intuitive: Those Bastards Won't Watch Our Regular Programming So Let's See How They Like Watching People Sitting Behind Desks And Answering Phone Calls!"
I'm not above checking out some public television. I love me some Charlie Rose; I'm a sucker for his discussions with film directors and screenwriters. "Frontline" is always engrossing, even when it's about Wal-Mart. And where else can you see man's man Alan Alda get all wide-eyed about the Hubble telescope?
So yeah, I watch PBS from time to time. But I'm not going to watch no telethon, and I certainly ain't gonna give them any money.
You know what I always say: fuck charity.
I practice this policy on both the macro and the micro level. I give nothing to Greenpeace at the same time that I shun trick or treaters. Go buy your own candy, you piss-poor excuse for Dr. Evil. Don't come at me with that half-sheared scrotum. Go balls out or don't go at all!
I don't even do favors. In fact, I was once crowned the King of Not Doing Favors by a bitter roommate. I accepted my crown and ruled with an iron fist. I don't mind being feared for my policies as King Fuck-off. If someone needed ten fingers to scale a fence, they were on their own. If a drinking buddy needed a wingman, I laughed and walked away. Where was he when I needed help with my enema?
I know what you're thinking: this asshole read The Fountainhead and thinks it's a practical way of life. Hell no. Not only do I object to Objectivism, I don't care who John Galt is, and I stopped listening to 2112 10 years ago. But hey, accuse me of being selfish all you want. After all, it's better to give blame than to receive.
Whether you believe in the reincarnation, karma, or Pay It Forward, the only reason anyone does anything is to get some positive payback as a result. And that's fine. But I'd rather skip the middle step. Why wait for karma to come around when I've got what I've got right now?
Christmas is the worst. I don't buy all that crazy Christian jazz: give and ye shall receive; treat others as you like to be treated; transubstantiation; all dogs go to heaven; except Jewish dogs. Besides, half the people that celebrate the holidays these days skip all the pain-in-the-ass rituals and just collect gifts. Hypocrites. (I'd like an HDTV.)
The bottom line is I don't have time to save the whales, or to give sugary handouts to the pack of kids dressed as Power Rangers, or Pokemons, or Ennis del Mars. I'm too busy watching this goddamn telethon so I can convince my girlfriend I give a shit about her.
So seriously, back off. Don't mess with me and maybe, just maybe, I'll repent on my deathbed and write you into my will. By then I plan on being so deep into my Golden Years' Heroin Habit™ that anything goes. Then again, I might just have a seizure and die before I have a chance to hook you up. Drugs are unpredictable.
About the only real concession I make to charity is the organ donor tag on my license. And I even have second thoughts about that, because I know for a fact that corrupt doctors let you die so they can give your organs to the highest bidder. FOR A FACT.
Okay, I actually have no idea. But it's likely enough that every time I look at my license I consider revoking the organ donation clause. The good news is that my liver has got to be so pickled by now that the only person who'd want it is the Hamburgler.
If I plan things right, I'll have nothing left when I die. No usable organs, not a penny in the bank, and not one iota of self-respect.
I think I'm about a third of the way there. And as you've probably guessed, I certainly don't need your help rounding out the other two.
P.S. Please send this column around. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".
ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE
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6.12.06 @ 9:06a
Dammit, you make me laugh. By the way, not to diminish your girlfriend's good nature, but PBS is about as useful as a cassette deck head cleaner.
6.12.06 @ 9:15a
She did it for her job. But as I said, there are occassionally some worthwhile programs on PBS.
6.12.06 @ 9:56a
Excellent kicker, buddy.
I think PBS is great. Certainly better than network television.
6.12.06 @ 3:35p
I had fun at the event and at least I FELT helpful... eventhough I took all of 10 bids over the 3-hour timeframe.
But you know what being charitable gets ya? ROPED IN! I've ALREADY gotten an email from them to come back and play operator.
6.12.06 @ 3:41p
No good deed goes unpunished.
6.12.06 @ 4:04p
PBS shows those awesome Brit-coms!
What us educated guys wouldn't give to meet Ms. Brahms and get it together with her.
I'd volunteer to do phones if I knew she'd be stopping by so's I could get a view of her sexy knickers. Plus, she's got a sexy high-class accent and all like they always have on PBS. Except when it's Alan Alda. He doesn't have a sexy accent. But he does have a big nose.
6.13.06 @ 8:19p
PBS is my second favourite channel, right after Comedy Central. I always give them something during the pledge drives. I open up my bleeding heart and pocketbook to tsunami relief, hurricane relief, earthquake relief, and every year I give something to the local outfit that feeds Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to homeless or just plain poor people. I gave money to the firefighters and the police after 9/11. I don't give very much at any one time because I can't afford to give very much, and I don't do it because I'm laying up treasures in heaven since I'm a vocal and vociferous atheist. I do it because I'm a bleeding heart liberal who can't resist a sad story. I even give money to street musicians, and I have a tendency to overtip, too. I'm not really sure why I refuse to give money to panhandlers, but I do. It's probably irrational.